Friday, February 21, 2014

My "Plan"

(Photo by Tara Gourley)
Graduation looms, ever nearer. I have about thirty days left of this whole "school" thing, and mid-May will find me awkwardly standing in front of my loved ones and giving a speech. No doubt, my hands will be shaking. Ferociously. It seems like everyone else has a plan (with a few exceptions to this). They are getting ready for college, applying for internships, and most already have jobs, even if it is just working at McDonald's to make ends meet. Or because their parents made them. I'm not sure. It confused me, and I didn't ask. Anyway .... I don't have a job, unless you count babysitting once a week (if it isn't cancelled). And I don't have a plan, unless you count desperately seeking God and begging Him to pretty please show me what to do.
It's hard when you honestly don't know. Right now, I'm doing the "one step at a time" thing. Today, that means that I wake up. I get into the Word. I exercise, because just because I don't have a clean bill of health, doesn't mean I can't strive to have a healthy body. For that same reason, I eat, and I take my ridiculous vitamins. I try to look nice, because who knows what the day will bring? Those were the little steps. Now for the bigger ones. I do my schoolwork, because education matters to me. I attempt to learn to sew, which is basically a battle to overcome my fear of the sewing machine. I write my final research paper. I invest in relationships. My sister tries to teach me to cook. Learning, striving, living, loving. When you do that, I don't think you can stray too far  off course, but to remain on His course, I must be constantly returning to the Lover of my soul. 
So this is it, then. My plan. No matter where I end up a year, two years, ten years from now, I just want to be close to Him. I could be furthering my education; learning every scrap that I can. I may end up a writer, or teaching little ones. Those little ones could be calling me "Mama." I could travel the world, or maybe just one city ... journal in hand; I could be a tourist. Or maybe a different kind of journey awaits me. Will I call a patch of red dirt under an unrelenting foreign sun "home"? Will missions make a firm and final claim on my heart? I could end up reaching people in any way, shape, or form ... but as long as I'm reaching for Him ... it will be beautiful. 
Still ... I get the inevitable questions: "What are you going to do with your life?" "Don't you have plans?" "Why aren't you going to college?" Most days, it takes most, if not all of my willpower to not run away from the person who poses such a question, screaming my head off about injustice or something of the like. I don't handle pressure well. So I blurt out the options I have thought of; the things that sound actually possible, and between those, I mutter my hopelessly extravagant dreams, and I pray those aren't the ones they notice. I must be true to myself, but, if there's a time when it seems like being true to myself and being true to my Maker are two very very different things, I must choose Him. Always. Every day. Even if it seems like the path He leads me on goes against my every inclination; forces me to face all my biggest fears. His way, not mine. Ever, only, always.
Martin Luther King, Jr. ... he said it so eloquently:
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"
This is what I want. A life lived with such abandon and submission to my Creator, that even if my daily duty is as seemingly insignificant as street sweeping, others will see the worth in my work, and know Who it is that I work for.